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If you were at the recent Penn State Homecoming game against Rutgers, you saw first-hand one of our very own crowned this year’s Homecoming king! Alex Shockley, a junior, says “It was a great honor. It was just a true representation of what I hope to achieve at Penn State. It showed I wanted to make a difference and do that to the best of my ability…I was able to say, wow, Penn State is proud for me to be a student, and I’m proud to be at Penn State.”

Shockley rushed during his sophomore year. After coming to Penn State, he was trying to find his way, and became involved with a lot of groups and activities. However, he says he “didn’t really find a core group of guys [he] could reach out to, [who would] always be there when [he] needed them.” Growing up without a brother, Shockley says he was able to find the sense of brotherhood and community he was looking for at Kappa Sig almost immediately.

So far, he notes, “It’s been great. I was really involved in my sophomore and junior years. I’m also really involved in student government, so my time [with the fraternity] is more limited now…The guys in my fraternity and pledge class are my best friends. I lived in the house last year and it was a great feeling when I had a busy day…to go home and just sit down with my brothers and talk about my day and how we were feeling and let off steam. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Joining a fraternity was my best decision of my college career…”

Shockley with Homecoming Queen Cayla Castells

However, Shockley also admits the face of Greek life at Penn State is changing, and that could be a good thing. With many fraternities founded on a certain value, tradition, need or common theme, returning to these roots is something Shockley sees a need for, and these traditions should motivate recruits to join.

“If you want a group of guys who really can bond over different things and come together from all different areas of life, that’s why you should join a fraternity,” he says. “I think it’s essential that every fraternity goes back to the reason they were founded and compare that to the reason people join now. There is a very large population out there that join Greek life to party or have a social setting, which isn’t necessarily wrong, but the root of why they join should be the original reason the fraternity was founded…Chapter leadership needs to take that into consideration now. If someone isn’t willing to recognize the four colors…maybe they don’t deserve to be a brother. Look for quality, not quantity…of men.”

Shockley also admits that the undergrads need the Kappa Sig alums now more than ever, particularly with all the rapid changes coming to Greek life. “It’s important to evaluate our history and what Kappa Sigma used to look like, and what it looks like now. We still believe in Kappa Sigma… When a fraternity has the great support of alumni, it’s the best it can be. I think it’s so essential that alumni come back to speak to us and reach out to us. They have gone through what we have gone through. They’re a resource for now and the future.”

Shockley is a hospitality management major, and his primary extracurricular activity has been student government, with roles as vice president of the student body, speaker of the assembly, student senator and more. After graduating with honors, he plans to work at Hilton Global Headquarters, in McLean, Va., as a coordinator in the corporate responsibility department, combining his love of philanthropy with his love of hospitality, working on issues regarding sustainability, environmental impacts, community relationships and more.